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ONAM DIVINE DISCOURSE

28-08-2004

 

Divine Love alone can save us from sorrows

Oh man! You struggle hard in life merely for the sake of filling your belly. You acquire myriad types of knowledge from various fields. Examine and enquire for yourself what great happiness you have achieved by spending all the time from dawn to dusk in acquiring worldly knowledge and earning wealth while forgetting God. (Telugu poem)

Embodiments of Love!
Hunger, thirst, pleasure and pain, are quite natural to man. One follows the other. Food is essential for man. But filling the belly is not the be all - and end - all of human existence. Man is born not for the sake of ahara (food) but to experience ananda (bliss). One who is oblivious to ananda and spends his time and energy in the pursuit of ahara will ultimately fritter away his life. The purpose of celebrating festivals is to experience bliss and not merely to partake of delicious food. No doubt the body requires food, but life is not meant for food alone. Unmindful of this truth, man is treading the path of unrighteousness for the sake of food and physical pleasures. The body is made up of five elements and is transitory. The Mind is a mere bundle of thoughts and desires. We should not be unduly attached to the body and the mind. We should strive to experience bliss.

Embodiments of Love!
Human body has emerged out of love. Hence, we should lead a life for divine love and not for food. But man has not understood this truth. He struggles hard from dawn to dusk for the sake of filling his belly. He is not utilising the gift of the body for the purpose it is assigned to. This body is a den of dirt, and prone to diseases; it is subject to change from time to time; how foolish it is to develop attachment to such an impermanent body and strive for its pleasures?

Embodiments of Love!
We should lead our lives in such a manner to redeem ourselves. We should love God and aspire only for Him. Your love should be directed only towards God, not for the body. Our speech, actions and the life-breath itself are meant to experience the Atma. Sometimes the body may be afflicted with ailments, but they are like passing clouds. Man is born to attain the eternal truth of the Atma. Life is meant for Atmaanveshana (quest for the Atma) and not for Annaanveshana (quest for food). Annaanveshana gives cause to physical ailments. They come and go like passing clouds. How foolish it is to be depressed about such ‘passing clouds’? We should never forget the truth that we are born to experience the eternal bliss of Atma.

Embodiments of Love!
You have come here all the way from Kerala to celebrate the holy festival of Onam and experience joy and bliss in the divine presence of Swami. We should not allow trivial matters to dampen the spirit of enthusiasm. We should march forward with courage and conviction, unmindful of any hurdles and inconveniences in the way. A few minutes ago, when all of you were blissfully immersed in the celebration, all of a sudden My nose started bleeding. I went inside, wiped the blood and came out cheerfully as if nothing had happened. How can we discontinue the celebration of a sacred festival of this kind on account of such trivial matters? We should not lose our self-confidence on such minor physical discomforts. They are transient in nature; you should not get distracted by them. Ailment and suffering are but natural to the physical body. Sometimes even the sun is covered by clouds. But can the clouds ever diminish the effulgence of the sun? No. Just as the sun is not affected by the clouds, you too should remain unaffected by ailment and suffering. When you develop such courage, conviction and determination, you will not be depressed or dejected by any suffering.

Embodiments of Love!
We should sanctify our time by performing sacred actions. This is the spiritual lesson we have to learn today. We can experience transcendental bliss only when we overcome the difficulties and suffering that come in our way. Never be afraid of difficulties; face them with courage. Only then humanness will blossom in you. Once you experience the bliss of the Atma, difficulties and suffering will no longer bother you.

Embodiments of Love!
Amidst the joyous celebration of the festival, My slight physical discomfiture has caused anxiety to you. You should never give scope for anxiety or worry. In order to allay your fears and anxiety and to give you joy I came back immediately. In this world, many difficulties come in our way. Truly speaking, they merely cause anxiety in you; they cannot harm you.

Onam is the most sacred festival of Kerala. You have to understand the significance and message of this festival and put it into practice. Onam is an occasion to share our joy with others. You cannot experience happiness without undergoing difficulties. Na Sukhat Labhate Sukham (one cannot derive happiness out of happiness). Happiness gains value in the face of difficulties. Even insurmountable difficulties will vanish like thin mist when you face them with courage and self-confidence. The problems may appear to be mountainous in nature, but you should not give scope for fear or anxiety in your mind. Mind is like a mad monkey. It easily gets swayed by difficulties. Hence, you should brush aside the difficulties that come in your way. Never allow them to get the upper hand. Mind is the veil of Maya (illusion) that stands as an obstacle in your path to spirituality. You should not become a slave of the mind; you should conquer the mind. Only then can you attain Divinity. But you are carried away by the vagaries of the mind which is nothing but Maya. You should ignore the dictates of the mind. We consider the mind to be the most important aspect of humankind. However, it can lead you to dangers and difficulties if you are carried away by its whims and fancies. Hence, do not submit yourself to the mind.

Embodiments of Love!
One who has control over the mind is a true Manishi (human). One who lacks control over the mind is no human at all. How can you call yourself a human being if you are fickle-minded and depressed over trivial problems? You should make efforts to overcome problems posed by the mind without being unduly worried about them. In this world, there is nothing greater than God’s love. Hence, we should transcend the mind that stands as an obstacle in the Godward path.

Embodiments of Love!
You are born out of love and sustained by love. You should sanctify your life by leading a life suffused with love. Treat love as the very basis of your life. You are not fit to be called a human being if you submit yourself to trivial problems. Even tiny ants are able to overcome obstacles that stand in their way. Problems are not limited to human beings alone; even birds, beasts and insects have problems.

Saint Thyagaraja sang, “Oh Rama, You pervade everything right from a Cheema (ant) to Brahma. You are in Siva and also in Kesava. Please take care of Me.” (Telugu poem)

The same divinity that is present in an ant is also present in man. Likewise, difficulties are also common for all. The suffering that an ant undergoes is similar to that of man. When such a tiny creature like an ant is able to withstand suffering, why is it that man is not able to do the same? He is influenced by his food and habits and thus has become a slave to his mind. That is the reason he is unable to withstand suffering. We should face the challenges of life with fortitude and brush aside the difficulties. Never be cowed down by difficulties. You can attain God only when you face difficulties with courage and overcome them.

Embodiments of Love!
You should not seek anything other than divine love. There is nothing superior to love in this world. You consider gold, silver, diamond, etc. as most valuable. In fact, all these so called valuable things are meant to delude man. We should not care for such worldly possessions. Instead, we should focus our mind on God. Perform your daily activities keeping God as your goal. Only then will your human birth find fulfilment. We should strive to attain the grace of God and not be deterred by difficulties and losses. When you have God on your side, you can achieve anything. All your difficulties and suffering will vanish in a trice. When such omnipotent Divinity is within us, why should we be worried about trivial matters? Love is the divine power that bestows on us the courage to overcome difficulties. Anything can be achieved with the power of love. We should be afraid of sin, and not difficulties. We have to develop Daiva Preeti, Papa Bheeti and Sangha Neeti (fear of sin, love of God and morality in society). Instead of developing fear of sin, we are enslaved by sin. Instead of seeking refuge in God, we are submitting ourselves to difficulties. Morality in society will lead to love of God which will in turn lead to fear of sin. Hence, we should uphold morality in society and dedicate ourselves to God.

Thyagaraja once prayed, “Oh! Lord, I am deeply concerned about the fear of sin. I am unable to surrender to your love. Please grant me the strength of conviction to bow down before your divine love. Please give me the strength to overcome the fear of difficulties.” What did we achieve in our life? What is the purpose of constant contemplation of God? One who is constantly contemplating on God should be able to keep himself away from sinful acts and develop love for God. There can be no greater fortune than having love for God. One must strive to achieve that great treasure. One should not be deterred by sorrows and difficulties in that Sadhana.

Embodiments of Love!
You have all gathered here to attain that great fortune of love for God. One should never be subdued by sorrows and difficulties. Sorrow and sin are obstacles in the path of spirituality. They are like the waves. When one gets into the water and attempts to swim, the surging waves must be pushed aside, so that one may move forward. Similarly, in the stream of life, if one wants to move forward, one has to push aside the surging waves of sorrow and sin. From a child to the adult, everyone has to strive to attain the love of God. This struggle for God’s love, moulds the personality of a human being. What is meant by personality? Does it mean height, weight and a strong body? No, it is a mistake to think so. Undeterred by the sorrows and difficulties, one has to march forward with courage and adventure to attain God’s love. That is the real meaning of personality. In fact, God has already granted such personality to every human being. Unfortunately, we fail to realise this truth. The word ‘Person’ implies a great Divine force that is granted by God to Man. Our ancestors called this Divine force as ‘Persona’. This is a great gift of God, granted to every individual. We are unable to safeguard this great treasure. These sorrows and difficulties are like passing clouds that come and go. Why should we be afraid of them? We have the eternal Divine principle immanent in our personality. Therefore, there is no need at all to be afraid of anything as long as we are constantly aware of our latent divinity. March forward with courage and conviction and achieve your life’s goal. It is only to instill this feeling of courage in you and reinforce your faith in God that you are subjected to face certain anxious moments.

Embodiments of Love!
I am aware that you are very anxious about the physical discomfort that Swami underwent, a few moments ago. You are very worried about this physical body. Understand and be convinced by the fact that a body is after all physical in nature. It is like a water bubble; the mind is like a mad monkey. You need not be afraid of this mad monkey. You should not worry about these passing clouds. They are like visitors who come and go. We have to be firmly established in the Atma Tattwa, which is nothing but Divinity. Develop full faith in the Atma Tattwa. That alone will protect you in every way.

Embodiments of Love!
God can do anything by His Divine will. Why should you fear when such all powerful God is always with you, in you, and around you? Develop such courage and conviction and march on. There cannot be a more powerful force than faith in God in this world.

Embodiments of Love!
All these children have gathered here to spend some sacred moments in the Divine presence of God. They are really fortunate. Their good fortune is the result of the merit acquired by their parents. Here is a small girl (pointing towards a girl). She participated in a group dance programme a short while ago. While doing so, she was constantly observing the steps made by other girls in the group. She developed so much concentration in this activity that she was constantly maintaining her steps in tune with the steps of other girls. (Swami created a gold chain and put it round her neck.)

Embodiments of Love!
I will be very happy, if all of you can become children once again. A child will never have the bad qualities of anger, passion, jealousy, conceit and ego. Jesus Christ was always appreciative of the quality of innocence in children. Once, he lifted a small child from the lap of her mother in the crowd and said “I like this small child very much; she has all the qualities of Divinity. She is pure, selfless and is in perfect bliss”. Children in general are Divine in nature. As they grow up they develop bad qualities like excessive desires, attachments, anger, jealousy, etc. Along with advancing in age, sorrows and difficulties will also increase. Therefore, one should strive for attaining control over one’s desires. That is ceiling on desires. If you can develop this control, you will come under the influence of Divine power. Otherwise, you will be deluded by the power of desires and get into that vortex from which you can never come out. A child like simplicity, purity and innocence, is the road to Divinity.

Embodiments of Love!
I wish you should become children at least for one minute a day. You should emulate those noble qualities, which are characteristic of children. Supposing you are troubled with desires, chase them away as unbecoming of your noble personality. Only then can you hold your head high. A few minutes ago, my nose was bleeding profusely. If I were to submit myself helplessly to this bodily ailment, it would have aggravated further. Therefore, I decided to defy this bodily discomfiture and stand erect with firmness, unmindful of what is going to happen to the body. I washed my face and came back to give My Discourse. After all, this body and the blood circulating therein are nourished and nurtured only by the food we supply. If we cannot control our own body, what is the purpose of our living? Wherever we are, we must keep the body in our control. Only then we become real human beings and can move closer to Divinity. The more you control your body and mind, the nearer you move to God.

In fact, love is the only quality that takes you nearer to God. There is nothing greater than love. It is a Divine attribute. Love is God. Live in Love. When you cultivate this noble quality, you deserve to be called a human being. This divine love is like the blood that circulates in every human being, nay, every living being. If we can cultivate this universal love, you can love not only every human being, but all living beings. Love is God and God is Love. Therefore, take every individual lovingly to your heart. Do not ever show anger or hatred towards anybody.

Embodiments of Love!
The quality of love that permeates every human being is one and the same. There are no differences whatsoever in this regard. When you cultivate such universal love, it becomes your very life-breath, which is dearer to God. Therefore, cultivate such pure, unsullied and selfless love. Love your neighbour’s child as your own child. All are embodiments of love. The message of this sacred festival Onam is love. This festival is observed to spread this message of love among all human beings. In fact, we are born to cultivate this sacred love and share it with others. If we fail in this endeavour, our whole life becomes a waste.

When my nose was bleeding a few minutes ago, some doctors advised me that I should take complete rest and not to go out to give a discourse. I asked them why? The doctors explained that if I go on talking, the bleeding may reoccur. Then I replied, “Ok! Let me see!” Thus I faced the problem squarely with courage and confidence. Thus, when we encounter a difficult situation, we should not feel sorry and dejected. We must face it with courage. Only then can we overcome the situation.

Embodiments of Love!
Whenever you encounter suffering either bodily or mentally, do not lose your cool. Do not get dejected. Instead, face the problem squarely and undertake activities that will instill a sense of courage and confidence in you. No doubt, situations do arise in life when we have to undergo sorrows and difficulties. When our loving parents depart from this world, we are in deep sorrow. Instead of losing our poise in such difficult situations, it is advisable to face the ordeal with courage, expressing gratitude to our parents for granting us the gift of this body.

Embodiments of Love!
I hope I am not causing inconvenience to you by speaking at length. It is only to instill courage in you that I am giving this long discourse. When I was suffering with a bleeding nose, all our children were anxiously waiting in the adjacent room in an anxious mood. I told them, “Do not feel worried. I will go out and administer a strong dose for this ailment. Such is My courage and confidence in facing difficult situations. In fact, this courage is My real strength. Come! Let us go!” The children collected all the blood-soaked towels and felt very distressed on seeing them. If those clothes are washed, the blood stains will vanish in no time. Likewise, only God's love can wash our sorrows off! Therefore, cultivate such divine love. All your sorrows and difficulties will be removed.

Bhagawan concluded His Discourse with the Bhajan, “Prema Mudhita Manase Kaho …”

sourced: http://www.sssbpt.org/Pages/Prasanthi_Nilayam/Onam_Discourse.htm